If a company is not active the members may de-register the company. To de-register the members must write a letter to CIPC (On the company letterhead) stating that the company is dormant, and has no assets, no liabilities and all the members intend to de-register the company. All parties must be in agreement and sign this letter.
CIPC will then inform the relevant government departments e.g. SARS, WCA, UIF etc. as well as place an advert in the Government Gazette. There are no costs involved.
Another option is that the client does not pay the annual return and then CIPC will automatically deregister the company for them. The assets of the company then belong to the state and the liabilities remain with the company which now does not exist, effectively relieving the director/s of their responsibilities. This put banks in a very awkward situation if there are loans involved until the companies are restored and the annual returns paid. The clients often opt to a new company registration as opposed to restoration.
On 1 November 2012, CIPC introduced new legislation which makes it very difficult to restore a company once it has been deregistered. It is therefore cheaper and quicker to a new company registration if the company is dormant, has no assets and liabilities and has not conducted any business. However, if the company owns a fixed property it will need to be restored as the property cannot be sold until all the annual returns are paid up in full and CPC has restored the company. This may take some time and be a costly exercise, depending on each individual scenario.